Friday, December 17, 2010

Guest Author Marian Allen:

My good friend and author Marian Allen is here with us today. Marian writes fantasy...right up my alley. She has generously shared chapter one of Eel's Reverence with me and I elected to give you all a taste.

Chapter 1

Priests can get their noses out of joint, and old women still have their pride. I'd been a priest of Micah for 68 of my 82 years and a woman for all 82 of them; when my congregation began drifting away to the flashy new temple down the street, something snapped. If my parish wanted a new priest, I wasn't going to stay and hang on by my nails.

I announced my intention of going on a Final Wandering, dismissed my sexton, and said goodbye to my temple, my plants, my parishioners. I released my wolves from our devotion, posted my temple as vacant, and started walking. North, why not?

I took a sour pride in the picture I presented: a tiny, yellow-brown raisin of a woman in a cassock of forester's green; a poor unwanted old woman with iron gray hair and tin gray eyes, staff in hand and a bindle on my back, making my lonely way throug
h the morning mist.

One of my erstwhile parishioners, a floatboard salesman who traveled by dory, spoiled the effect by asking me to keep him company around Windycliff and up the coast to Malmana.

I gratefully accepted passage, but not his offer of breakfast nor his apology on behalf of his fellow votaries.

I left Malmana on foot, moving pretty briskly along the road of hard-packed sand. The road became more frequented as the morning passed, but my fellow travelers seemed strangely disinclined to speak to me. No one offered me food or a ride, and only one person, an old man, even gave me any money; he dropped a handful of pennies at my feet, made as if to pick them up, then waved them down with an "Ah! Let them go!" and went

All rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2010 by Marian Allen

NR: As writers, we are told to grab the reader in the first line, paragraph, page. I don't know about you, but I was grabbed. Our heroine is an 82 year old priest and a woman. Already I'm intrigued that at that age she would even consider going on a trip and walking to boot.

Marian, I'm curious, how did you come up with such a character?

Marian: How did I come up with Aunt Libby? I was thinking about my Aunt Ruth, actually. Aunt Ruth was in her 60's when I wrote the book, but I wanted Aunt Libby to be older--so old that a lot of people would discount her effectiveness and strength. I wanted somebody who would seem like a pawn to powerful people, but who knew who she was and what her non-negotiable principles were. My Aunt Ruth was the oldest, strongest woman I knew at the time, so I started with her. Any time I wasn't certain what Aunt Libby would do or say, I asked myself what Aunt Ruth would do or say.

NR: That is very interesting Marian and unique I believe to fantasy. Now onto the royalty donation.

Marian: About a month ago, all authors of Echelon Press got an FYI notice that one of us, D. M. (Dave) Anderson, was in the hospital. He had the flu, which went into pneumonia, which triggered an inflammation of the lining around his heart. Dave has written a wonderful Young Adult sf/humor book called KILLER COWS, available in print and electronic version, so he has some royalties coming in. But guess what? Dave has pledged all his electronic royalties to a former student of his who has cancer.

Our publisher asked us to spread the word about KILLER COWS, recommending the print version, for which the royalties would go to Dave. In fact, she pledged to match his print royalties dollar-for-dollar through Christmas, in hopes of giving his family a bit of cheer.

Another of Echelon's Young Adult writers, Martin Bartloff, pledged the electronic royalties of his moving novel TORN FROM NORMAL through Christmas to the Dave Fund. I followed suit. I just heard from one of my nephews, Joshua Allen, who isn't published by Echelon and has no connection to Dave except through me; Joshua is also pledging his electronic royalties to the Fund through January 1.

And people claim the Internet is impersonal and online friendships aren't "real" friendships.

If you’d like to get more info on Dave’s condition, you can visit a site set up by family at
You can get KILLER COWS at, Kindle, or a special offer from Echelon Press.
Give TORN FROM NORMAL as a gift or purchase a copy for yourself by clicking here.
Joshua S. Allen's books are available for Kindle.
EEL'S REVERENCE is available for your Kindle and at Fictionwise.

Amazon UK

Eel's Reverence
Killer Cows
Torn from Normal
Joshua Allen

Thanks for helping me spread the word, Nancy! You're a peach!

Marian Allen

You can buy Eel's Reverence from Amazon, or any of the other great books listed above.

Thank you Marian for stopping by today with your amazing e-book, Eel's Reverence.

Do you have any questions for Marian? She'll stop by throughout the day to read your comments and answer your questions.


Marian Allen said...

Thanks for hosting me, Nancy. I'm so glad you like Aunt Libby! My Aunt Ruth has passed on, but Aunt Libby is still here to give me advice. :)

Marian Allen

Joanna St. James said...

This is a really good thing to do to help a fellow author out, I will check out Killer cows for my nephews

Joanne said...

Marian, I'm not too familiar with fantasy, but it does seem that your 82 year old Aunt Libby is bringing a fun, new twist to the genre. Do you find that bringing a Senior to the story actually opened up the storyline for you, allowing you to try new ideas in the genre?

Nancy, thanks for hosting :)

Patricia A. Timms-McGehee said...

Nancy, thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting. The charities you mentioned are really great. Your post today is a great charity for the holidays. You should be proud. You're doing a great thing.

Marian, I love your first chapter. The voice behind this character is mature but youthful at the same time. I trust her right away because she's smart and daring. Great job.

Marian Allen said...

Joanna--I bought a copy of Killer Cows for one of my grandsons. Mom and I are hoping it comes in time for us to read it before we pass it on. lol! Otherwise, we'll have to wait until he finishes it and borrow it back. :)

Joanne--You're absolutely right. My mother always says, "I know a lot more about being your age than you do about being my age." A lot of people have stereotyped ideas of what "an older person" is like. In one of my (as yet unsold) books, I have a "sweet little old lady" who used to be a law-flaunting flapper. The older a character is, the more experience he or she has to draw from.

Great question!

Marian Allen

Marian Allen said...

Patricia--Thanks for the kind words. I love your reading of her character, because that's just what I was going for!

Marian Allen

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's great so many of you are helping your fellow author!

Mason Canyon said...

Your story definitely grabs one's attention. I love the fact that your character is an older lady. It's a wonderful thing you, your fellow writers and your nephew are doing for Dave. I must admit I've been amazed at how close-knit the blogging community really is. It's a wonderful thing. Wishing you much success and keeping Dave in my thoughts and prayers. Off to check out these titles.

N.R., thanks for introducing me to Marian and her work.

Thoughts in Progress

N. R. Williams said...

Good morning everyone. I've gotten a late start to the day. I'm so glad Marian that you have come by already to answer questions. That is such an important part of a writer's journey in blogdom.

Joanna, Killer Cows does sound like fun.

Joanne, I love the idea of an elderly heroine and wish I'd thought of it. Well...maybe in a future book.

Thank you Patricia for stopping by and thanking me.

It really is great Alex.

I say ditto to all your comments Mason.

Thank you everyone who dropping in and leaving a comment. It is greatly appreciated.

Marian Allen said...

Alex and Mason, thanks for dropping by. It always bugs me when people who don't spend much time on the internet disparage people who do spend time here, saying we aren't forming "real" friendships. I'm always like, "Who do you think we're talking to on line--robots?" Well, I suppose we could be, now that I think of it. lol! But NICE robots!

Nancy, I say it again--you're a peach!

Marian Allen

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Marian. Now I will go rub the fuzz off. LOL No, really Marian. I truly appreciate such a compliment.

Golden Eagle said...

I love this interview! Great job, Nancy and Marian!

Her book sounds intriguing--an 82 year old woman priest in a Fantasy novel? I've never heard of anything like it! :)

Marian Allen said...

Thanks, Golden Eagle! Wait till you get a load of a mermayd on horseback. lol!

Marian Allen

N. R. Williams said...

I agree Golden, it does sound wonderful. I've started to read it too.

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

This is certainly a unique story, Marian. I like the idea of the older, sage heroine.

Nice that you all are helping out the ill author friends. It's also nice to see the close knit blogging community.

Nancy, you continue to impress me with your growing list of followers...


N. R. Williams said...

Thanks for dropping by Monti. Marian's book does sound fabulous. I am reading it now and I'm not disappointed that's for sure.

I guess I'm doing something right that all these people like my blog. I know that Marian appreciates your comments as much as I do Monti.

notesfromnadir said...

I really enjoyed reading the excerpt & interview. It's wonderful to read about authors helping other authors in a time of need.

Marian Allen said...

I do appreciate your comments, Monti, as always. :) It's funny that you refer to her as "sage". I have a Big Fat Fantasy I've been unable to sell so far called SAGE because one of the themes in it is the question of what is true wisdom, as embodied by an elderly male Waymaster and an aged Wisewoman.

Lisa, I'm glad to meet you! Thanks for dropping in, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

Marian Allen

N. R. Williams said...

I agree Notes. Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment.

Marian Allen said...

I'm off! Nancy, thanks again for having me visit. I'll pop in again tomorrow in case I miss anybody tonight.

Hugs to everybody!

Marian Allen

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Marian and have a good night.

Denise Covey said...

Nancy, there are so many layers to this post. Firstly, it is generous for Marian to share the first chapter. What a great idea for a protagonist! The interview was great. Thanks for that, and it is also wonderful for you to show a way readers can assist a fellow writer.

N. R. Williams said...

As always L'Aussie, your comments are thoughtful and kind. I'm glad you liked the post and thought it was a good idea.

Marian Allen said...

L'Aussie, thank you for your kind words. There's more of Chapter One at my blog, I'm really excited that so many people like Aunt Libby as a protagonist!

Nancy, thank you for giving me this chance to hear that validation. :)

Marian Allen

N. R. Williams said...

You're more than welcome Marian. Two thumbs up. I hope I helped all of you.

D.M. Anderson said...

Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog. It meant a lot to both me and my family to know I have so many friends (even if separated by great distance). Just thought you'd like to know I'm on the mend (though the recovery is slow), and I'm thankful for each day I'm alive. People like you make me even more grateful. BTW: Would love to feature you on my own blog...maybe an interview or guest blog.